Those looking to support their favorite local charities will have a chance to do so on Tuesdays at Shell Island Resort, with guest bartenders serving up drinks in the high-rise hotel’s ballroom and donating a portion of the proceeds to a different nonprofit organization each week.
Shell Island Resort will begin its Guest Bartenders for Charity events on Sept. 10. Kevin Cottett, general manager of the north end hotel, said he had already tested the idea at his previous job in New York.
“I’d used it up there, and it was extremely successful as a way to give back to the community,” Cottett said in an Aug. 30 interview. “Obviously at the same time it exposes the resort, gets people in here. I talked to Lisa Weeks, she was one of the first people I met down here. … From there I just started rolling with it, one person recommending another.”
The resort will donate three hours from 6-9 p.m., staff support and a complete setup in its ballroom, in addition to a $99 Take the Elevator Home one-night room rate for guests who wish to stay at the hotel for the night.
Ten percent of food and drink revenue will go to the designated charity, but Cottett pointed out that the organizations will make most of their money from donations.
Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti is currently scheduled for his shift on Oct. 30, when he will serve beverages on behalf of the N.C. Coastal Federation and the Cape Fear Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. He said in an Aug. 30 interview that he loved the idea, and that this won’t be the first time he has taken on the role.
“The Wrightsville Beach Merchants Association has done this in the past, and I’ve bartended for them at King Neptune. I think it’ll be fun and I hope we can get a lot of folks out there to support those two organizations,” Cignotti said.
He will be just one of several community leaders slated for guest bartending in the coming months. Next Tuesday, Sept. 10 will feature former alderwoman Weeks and Jim Smith for the Wrightsville Beach Foundation, followed the next week, Tuesday, Sept. 17, by the American Heart Association’s Ashley Miller.
Cottett said a total of 13 charity organizations have signed up so far, adding that the benefit’s unexpected popularity has necessitated adding some Thursday nights as well.
“The main focus is that we’re here, we’re a part of the community and this is a way we can give back,” he said.